President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday told authorities to arrest what he described as rising street crimes brought about by the loosening of coronavirus quarantines and to be especially watchful of criminals on motorbikes.
Duterte said police should look into buying motorcycles to match criminals who who escape on two wheels. "Ang motor kasi, mag-zigzag in and out of traffic situation, they can get away with it easily," he said.
A motorbike is the "most convenient way" to escape, the President said. "This is very hard to control."
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"We have seen an upsurge in hold-ups, street crimes again. It's because of the liberality being offered by the opening of the economy, and of course, people are now allowed to roam freely and travel," he said in his weekly address to the nation on COVID-19.
The second lowest quarantine or GCQ in Metro Manila, and the lowest quarantine or MGCQ for most of the country is in force until Oct. 31. Less than halfway into the month, however, there has been a calibrated loosening of restrictions -- restaurants can operate for 24 hours, hotels can offer staycation packages, and commuters can be spaced one seat apart in public transport instead of one meter.
Duterte directed security officials to continue the crackdown on illegal drugs, the centerpeice of his administration. The President had blamed the narcotics crime for fueling criminality in the country.
"I really intend to go hard, within the last two years of my term," he said.